Monday, March 11, 2013

The Rebel Girl

"History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery."
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
 
At 16, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn gave a speech on the benefits of socialism for women.  She was asked to leave school.  At 19, she chained herself to a lamppost to make her arrest on free speech charges more difficult.

A founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Gurley continued to be an outspoken advocate for worker's rights, women's rights. and reproductive rights throughout her life.  She campaigned for equal pay for women, as well as equal employment opportunities.  She helped to establish day care centers so that women could work without worry of childcare.  

As a socialist, she was imprisoned under the Smith Act.  At 74, she died while visiting the Soviet Union.

Such a fascinating life... and yet another example of a woman who rarely makes popular history books/textbooks.    

3 comments:

  1. I first read about Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 3 months ago while reading "Woody Guthrie: A Life" by Joe Klein. Prior to that, I had never heard of her. Even her mention in the book was not too detailed and begged for a larger story. Glad to see her name again here. I am enjoying your posts :-)

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  2. The "rebel girl." Not only a great woman, a great human being who fought for social and economic justice. This is great. She has a great autobiography for further reading!

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  3. The "rebel girl." Not only a great woman, a great human being who fought for social and economic justice. This is great. She has a great autobiography for further reading!

    ReplyDelete